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Occupation Details

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Welder

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

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€20k > 86
Welder
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 86
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Shortages have been identified in the National Skills Bulletin 2017 for the following areas:

Welders;
while this occupation experienced employment growth in recent years, a high volume of movement between employers (over 1,600 identified in 2016) is also a contributing factor to the increased number of vacancy notifications for this occupations; vacancies for welders were primarily for those with TIG/MIG, ARC, butt/electric fusion skills; on the supply side, 160 FET minor awards were made in 2016 in manual arc and oxyacetylene welding; there were also 1,000 job ready job seekers previously employed as welders in April 2017, although over half held a Junior Certificate qualification or less; nonetheless, a shortage of TIG/MIG welders continues to persist, with demand expected to remain strong particularly due to the growth in the construction and metal fabrication/machining (e.g. high tech manufacturing) industries.

8.8%
Occupational Category

Metal Forming, Welding & Related Trades

Also included in this category:

Blacksmiths; farriers; core makers (metal trades); moulders (metal trades); die casters; sheet metal workers; sheet metal fabricators; panel beaters (metal trades); welders; fabricators/welders; welding technicians.

Number Employed:

11,100

Part time workers: 7%
Aged over 55: 13%
Male / Female: 99 / 1%
Non-Nationals: 8%
With Third Level: 11%
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At a Glance... header image

Welders join pieces of metal together by using intense heat.


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The Work header image

Welders can use manual techniques to do a large amount of welding. They use an electric arc (the bright, hot area between the electrode tip and the metal) or a gas flame to melt the metal in the joint. There are four main manual welding processes. In manual metal arc welding (MMA), welders strike an arc between the metal rod and the work piece; both melt to form a weld pool. The flux covering on the rod melts to form gas and slag, which protect the weld pool until it has cooled.  
 
Oxy-acetylene (OA) relies on the combustion of oxygen and acetylene to form a very hot flame. In metal inert gas welding (MIG), welders use an inert gas to protect the arc and weld pool. Welders use the similar tungsten inert gas (TIG) method to join magnesium and aluminium.  
 
Welders follow technical drawings or instructions, and work out the best position to adopt and the best angle to work at. They may rehearse a difficult weld, going through the motions to be sure they can hold the position. They prepare and clean the surface that they will weld. They fit the appropriate weld torch nozzle or electrode, set the current, switch on and strike the arc, and start to weld.  
 
Welds may be horizontal or vertical, at an angle, on a curve, or encircling a big pipe. Welders may work from above, beside or below the weld and sometimes in very awkward and cramped spaces. Safety is vital to welding, so inspectors may check completed welds by using X-ray, ultrasonic or dye-testing techniques. If they discover cracks, porosity or other flaws, the welders have to ground out the weld and do the job again.  
 
As well as manual techniques, some types of welding are mechanised or done by robots, especially in industries that produce items on a large scale, like the motor industry. Here, technicians set up the machines, which the welders then operate. There are other, more specialist welding processes like laser welding, electron beam welding and solid state welding. Highly skilled welders are often trained to work with materials like titanium, aluminium and plastic. 

At graduate level entry to The Welding Institute, engineers and technicians are involved in research and development departments, where they work on a very wide variety of projects. They help to solve problems in design, materials selection, production processes and systems, repairs and inspections. They may research and develop high power lasers to help industry in welding, cutting and drilling. In materials research, materials engineers look at how metals behave (for example, in terms of corrosion), and the effects of welding on the properties and structure of materials.

They may work to improve the reliability of joining plastics; this is essential in the automotive and aerospace industries for example. Welding engineers may act as consultants, giving advice to manufacturing industries on equipment and systems. Welders have helped to develop intelligent robotics for welding.

They usually wear protective clothing. It can be very noisy, so welders may wear ear protectors.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a manual welder, you must be able to work with great accuracy, very steady hands and the ability to concentrate exclusively on the weld for the duration of a 'run' (up to five minutes).  
 
Good eyesight and hearing (to detect variations in the buzz and crackle of the arc) are important. You need physical fitness to lift and carry equipment, climb ladders and crawl into cramped spaces.  
 
You must be able to work without close supervision. You need to be able to follow technical instructions carefully, and follow safety procedures at all times.


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Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Welding Institute
Address: Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge, CB1 6AL, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1223 899000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property
Engineering & Manufacturing
Maritime, Fishing & Aquaculture

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Further Ed & PLC Course Suggestions
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